Dentist reprimanded for misleading public

 

By Daphne Sashin
Daily Press

December 20 2003

JAMES CITY -- A Williamsburg-area dentist was reprimanded by the Virginia Board of Dentistry and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for illegally advertising his practice as "natural."

The state board that licenses and regulates dentists said Peter S. Evans, a dentist who practices on King's Way in James City County, published an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette newspaper identifying his practice as providing "Natural Dental Care." The board said the phrase is "misleading to the public and implies a claim of superiority."

Evans signed an agreement that said the advertisement was a violation of the profession's rules and that he would pay the fine.

On Friday he said "it's inappropriate to comment right now," but a Web site he has used invites people to "learn about our practice's natural philosophy, mercury free and biocompatible services."  (Marie’s note: That is what the board didn’t like---his mercury free and biocompatible services.)

Sandra K. Reen, executive director of the dentistry board, said Evans violated a Board of Dentistry regulation that "you must describe your practice with terminology that is accurate and accepted within the dental community."

"There is no practice in dentistry that is, from a professional point of view, referred to as natural dentistry," she said. "To give what you're doing a name that is not recognized is misleading."

(Marie’s note. There may not be a category known as cosmetic dentistry either, but dentists use it all the time without being penalized.)

Reen would not explain why the phrase "natural dentistry" implies a claim of superiority, saying that information was "not a matter of public record."

She said whether Evans uses mercury fillings or not had nothing to do with the violation.

Daphne Sashin can be reached at 223-5684 or by e-mail at dsashin@dailypress.com

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